The African literary scene has slowly been seeping into the Podcasting space with people like Two Girls and A Pod giving opinions on what is happening. A new podcast has appeared in the last few weeks called “Not Another Book Podcast” run by three (I surmise) UK based ladies with a passion for books. Of the three, BookShyBooks is the most familiar to us as she runs one of our favourite African literary blogs BookShyBooks.com. PostColonialChild describes herself as a writer and poet while Books & Rhymes reviews books on her Instagram page with the friendly warning “Honest reviews, always.”
The new podcast promises to shake up the literary scene as we know it with its tagline;
“The podcast that says what you’re thinking but too afraid to say. Every fortnight we share popular and unpopular opinions about the books you love.”
The trio started with an episode entitled “I like Good Books and I cannot Lie” where they spoke about books and writers that are overhyped and under hyped. The format seemed to be @BooksandRhymes as the moderator of sorts, @PostColonialChild who keeps it real Simon Cowell style while @BookshyBooks would be the sniper who would come in with quips.
The hard tackles started with @PostColonialChild stating that Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, Imbolo Mbue’s Behold The Dreamers, and Ayobami Adebayo’s Stay With Me were “over hyped”. My blood was boiling when she quipped that “people are getting too carried away with these books.” I had to take a break to make some tea as I was so upset seeing as those were some of my favourite reads of 2017. Damn.
I went back, listened more and it became evident that these ladies knew their books. I can’t even hate. Listening in on my computer, as they analysed the books and while PostColonialChild was complaining that only Stay With Me had organic growth it hit me. This was about the podcasters’ love for the written word with all that entails including the love of the minutiae as well as the snobbery of the elite reader.
The thing that really irritated me was that the “hype” being discussed as an undesirable quality was the marketing that US publishing houses had done of their signed authors and books to a target audience likely to buy it first. Isn’t this what publishers are supposed to be doing? Something we are always complaining the European/African publishers of failing to do for our writers?
The second part of the podcast was easier to listen to as they talkED about the books that they felt weren’t being given the hype that was needed. The only concern for this listener was that if those books got that hype, I bet that @PostcolonialChild would complain that all books must grow organically so they are overhyped.
In the following podcasts, they seemed to have settled on a format where they would start with the books that the ladies read last or are currently reading before they embark on their discussions. The episodes that followed have discussions that are current with titles like;
Bookgasms: Books that make you go hmmm – They explored literary crushes, writer baes, and sapiosexuality in attempt to discover what constitutes ‘bookgasm’ and how to achieve it.
The Empire Strikes Back: Britain & The Windrush Generation – an insight into the Windrush generation and the contributions of Caribbean writers to the [British] literary landscape.
Clash of the Titans: Independent vs Big Publishing Houses – debate the differences between independent publishers, big publishing houses, and writers who choose to self publish; as well as and the ways in which the actions of publishers and books sellers influence the books we read.
I really rate this podcast. Even when I don’t agree with some of their opinions on specific books. Or their strange decision to start singing weirdly as they introduce new segments.
You can listen to the podcast on any of the platforms listed here. Nope. They’re not on SoundCloud.